Friday, July 31, 2009

F-Word Friday: Freaky

So I had this really weird dream last night, and it's proof that I am mental.

I'm dressed up super-cute, and I find myself with a ticket to a concert. I go in, all by myself after buying some cigarettes (weird by itself - I haven't smoked a cigarette in 2 years!), then climb the stairs in what is clearly the Quidditch World Cup stadium melded with Wrigley Field, and find a space along the railing. I take out a cigarette, but I'm bumped from behind and it breaks in half - I don't try for another.

I'm standing there, feeling all cool, when the concert starts - but it's only a video, with a guy playing keyboard in front of it. The band in the video is a goth-rock Christian band, and I'm mildly annoyed by this, but also find it amusing. I take out my phone to take a picture of the video screen SO I CAN BLOG ABOUT IT (there's your proof, right there)... and suddenly I'm packing up all of my stuff to move out of my father-in-law's house.

Double-you tee eff.

Breaking it down, I think the Christian-rock thing stemmed from the fact that the Promise Keepers have invaded the campus for the weekend (I wore my "Ladies Sewing Circle & Terrorist Society" t-shirt in their honor), the cigarette thing is clearly from heavy Spaced viewing on Hulu (I never think about that anymore but they all smoke on that show), the moving thing is because my father-in-law (aka Colorado Alternadad) just moved into a new house and... I'm a nerd for my blog.

I love this shirt so much

This weekend should be lots of fun... having pizza-and-movie night with The Child (finishing Transformers, which I reluctantly love, and hopefully renting Coraline) tonight, then a lovely leisurely Saturday morning before dropping Kid off with her grampa and heading to Denver Fabrics with TR. I haven't been there as yet, but their website leads me to believe they're a lot like Vogue Fabrics in fabulous Evanston, Illinois. It's the best fabric store IN THE WHOLE WORLD and I miss it terribly, so my expectations are high, but as long as they have a decent notions department I'll be happy. :)

I'll take pictures and report back on Monday - try to contain your excitement.

PS... You really really need to see this: Gallery1988 - Crazy 4 Cult 3D. If you are any kind of fan of cult movies, you will absolutely love it to bits! I found it while researching patterns to make an amigurumi Dude.

There doesn't appear to be one in existence, and it will be rather involved what with robes and sunglasses and beards and White Russians to figure out. I'll keep ya posted, but I have a feeling this may end up a mixed media project - I can sew a little robe from some fleece scraps and make a highball glass out of Fimo, and sunglasses from wire or a tinted pair of doll sunglasses, but I may take the challenge of making the entire thing crochet.

I'm just that crazy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Making The Kessel Run In Less Than 12 Parsecs

The first shot still gives me chills. (Skip to 2:15 if you don't want to read the scroll.)

I had the sheets. (One side of the pillow case had Han, the other had Luke, and it says a lot about me to tell you that Han got the most face time.)

I had the action figures. (The metal ones, oh how I wish I still had them!)

I bought the VHS tapes, one of my prized possessions, which my asshat ex husband took with when he left.

I think I need to hit the video store. I'd buy these but I'm still irritated about the "adjustment" to the end of Return of the Jedi that was made for the DVD release.

I am a nerd.

But that's why you love me! :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - Derailing Your Train Of Thought

I'll just give you a minute to absorb the cleverness that is my title.

I'll wait.



First, I have to note for you grammar/spelling/punctuation junkies out there that yes, I realize that within a title, words like "of" and "the" are lower-case, however you must understand that I have fairly involved OCD tendencies, and a lower-case "o" in "of" would have made my skin itch. So there.

So! Your question for the day...

What sends your mind wandering? Do you enjoy it, and where does it go?

I love the paths our minds can take. I'm a world-class wool-gatherer, myself, and the best time for it, the instance in which I get the strangest results (besides when I'm trying to get to sleep), is on the bus.

While public transportation is useful and green (and free, the one real bonus of working where I do), it's also really...


Granted, some public transportation experiences are more exciting than others, Chicago features a rather colorful elevated train system that makes for some of the best (or worst, depending on the strength of your stomach) people-watching, and the bus ride I personally enjoy these days gives me a luxuriously long view of the front range every day, but it still gets to be routine after awhile.

I can't read on the bus without severe consequences, and although I enjoy my little iPod a great deal there are only so many times I can hear the same songs over and over again (it's only a shuffle, not a lot of room on there), and TAL only has one free podcast a week, which is the best one-way trip of the week, granted, but still just one trip out of the 10 available during a week.

And so on those long, understimulated bus rides...

My mind wanders!

Depending on if I've opted for music, or if there's interesting weather going on outside, or there's a stinky fellow commuter next to me, the path my thoughts take can be linear - I keep a notepad for list-making - or it can be meandering, making connections from one thing to the next.

Sometimes it's driven by reviewing my experiences, going over and over something to analyze it, something triggered by a particular song and it's connection to someone else, and sometimes the winding road is purely me making stuff up... I've had some of my best unwritten novel and million-dollar movie ideas on public transportation excursions.

Staring at my fellow passengers (I really do have a problem) is the best way to come up with completely fictional stories to tell myself and pass the time. Some I see every day, and I get as used to them as the view from the front window, but sometimes we get a STRANGER... someone who doesn't belong, and whose past could contain anything at all.

Yesterday I found myself inspired by a couple of my fellow passengers, and started jotting down little notes about them.

I'd call it "poetry" but I'm pretty sure if I did, the ghost of Keats would find me and beat me to death with my purple notebook.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


An old man smelling roses starts their petals falling and
laments the lateness of our transport.
It comes and he's gone but the petals still fall.

A shared seat with an Egyptian-eyed girl...
She looks through the window, thoughtful...
Or maybe just mindful of her stop.

Loud talkers disrespect the Church-silent riders,
unaware of the stares of contempt.
They don't care to know our thoughts.

Boredom makes the most literate resort to anything,
Schedules, instructions... anything to coax the wheels a little faster.
It never works.


Wow, I wasn't kidding was I! Terrible stuff.

So... what's the coolest thing you've ever thought up while wandering? What's the weirdest?


Friday, July 24, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: Weekend Backlash & Nostalgia

The many 5's of you who read my blog may have noted my absence yesterday... this was not due to anything exciting, merely my complete exhaustion.

My weekend, I'll just note for consistency's sake, contained but was not limited to:
  • A Porterhouse steak all for me which I did not share with anyone
  • Laughing until my sides hurt with almost total strangers at dinner
  • Great conversations in person and on the phone, though some made me wish for stuff I can't have right now - patience, patience, patience
  • Planning something to look forward to with someone who I "esteem greatly", in the speech of the Regency, where I wish I could have lived like Elizabeth Bennet but would certainly have been more of a scullery maid
  • Figuring out a gift for someone that will possibly not suck at all
  • Rain and lightening and deep blue skies that were a lie - it was just window tinting (still cool though)
  • Driving around most of the eastern half of Colorado for various important reasons
  • Cooking for many hours to make enchiladas and chicken casseroles for the week
  • Watching a new Dr. Who episode and finding a new show to love
See? Chock-full, but exhausting. Must have been all that steak.

And now, Totally Random Tuesday!

I miss Chicago sometimes, or more to the point the Chicago of my youth. You just don't get commercials like this anywhere else:

That Cicero hair! Those low rates!

And there are the strangely gleeful dancing farm animals!

I will still randomly shout "Mooooooo and Oink!" - listen at the end for what it sounds like - while shopping for milk and pork products, for which I receive stares and a lot more personal space at the grocery store.

Even better, thanks to our salted winter roads, our cars are in terrible shape ALL THE TIME!

I got to call Victory once to pick up my first car. I got 25.00 and a sense of extreme satisfaction, although what I really wanted was that bell-bottomed bad actor's bracelet.

Someday, though, I will truly get to complete my life by calling the top dog of Chicago commercials, the one for which anyone who's from Chicago can tell you the number off the top of their heads, on command and in tune. And they're national now so I can call them ANY TIME I WANT!

I trust this man.

Of course you *could* call Luna, but then you'd be a commie. I'm just saying.

Empire Carpets was (and still is) so iconic in Chicago it even had its own spoof by my very favorite TV host of all time (besides Jerry Bryant, host of JBTV and the uncrowned king of alternative music television)...

Son of Svengoolie, the man responsible for my fear of zombies. Even if you dilute it with jabs at Berwyn and rubber chickens, no 8-year-old should watch Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.

That, my friends, was a huge chunk of my childhood right there... all that's missing is a special on the Rock-N-Roll McDonalds downtown, where I used to waste time while my mom was doing her side-job balancing the books at the gas station (a client of her then boss's) across the street. Incidentally, this is also where I used to watch JBTV - you couldn't tune it in anywhere but downtown.


Thank god for these old videos, because now it looks like this. In my opinion, this makeover has officially killed the beauty of the place, because half the coolness factor was that on the outside, it was just a regular old crappy McDonald's, but when you went *inside*... my God, it was glorious.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

F-Word Friday: Fragrant

So remember when I told you about the lavender farm not 5 miles from my house?

What do you mean "No"? Don't you commit these to memory? Jeez.

Anyway, it opens this weekend!

I probably won't be going just yet, but you can bet your boots I'll be there as soon as possible.

Can't you just smell it?

I'd love to make a lavender wreath, but I'm guessing I'll just hang some in my kitchen window and let them dry nicely. Maybe I'll use the dried stuff for a little sachet because I'm such a lady like that.

You knew that though, based solely on the merits of yesterday's post.

High-falutin', that's me!

Thrilling Thursday: Bigger Than A Breadbox

So I'm on Facebook with the rest of the world, which is totally fun once you learn to "ignore" all those invitations to causes and games that will eat your computer and steal your personal information.

My whole entire family is on there, along with a whole bunch of people I went to school with that I didn't realize I'd be actual friends with someday, and in general it's an awesome thing to behold.

What I particularly like about Facebook, though, is that a lot of entertainers and performers and artists of one sort or another post things about themselves that I never would have seen or had as part of my existence otherwise.

Like this song by this most excellent woman.

Now don't click if you're, you know, easily offended, but if not...


I guarantee you'll be singing this out loud in no time, although if you're unlucky (like me) you'll do it at an inappropriate time (like me) without realizing it.

(Like me.)

Just in case you hate clicking links, here ya go, but I'll tell you I'm mostly putting this on so I can see this any time I want.


Also thrilling is an addition to the mural project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago! They updated the mural over the weekend publicly, and left some really weird characters behind for us to enjoy.

I think I liked the fish better, but these are still pretty neat! More in the Flickr stream.

Last but not least, I put up a little picture of the love notes The Child left for me last Friday, because I finally remembered my camera!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - Mental

Wow, not sure what that Tuesday post was all about... must be the solar eclipse.

It's just effing everyone up left and right apparently!

Also, wow!

Of course you could say that it doesn't *really* have anything to do with anyone's mood shifts or existence-changing events, that we just pay more attention to what's already there during those times, but on the other hand...

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy", Shakespeare once wrote, and truer words were never spoken.

Who's to say that the moon really doesn't cause us to lose our minds when it's full, for example (the root of the word "lunatic" is, after all, "luna" - the latin for moon) , or that being near fire or water or up in the sky doesn't completely alter our bodies from the physical to the mental? And if someone feels that strongly that it's true, who are we to tell them they're crazy? People have every right to belive exactly as they please.

Then again, things like the 2012 doomsday prediction are getting ridiculous... they've even got a movie coming out about it!

It's one thing to feel in tune with the universe, it's another entirely to freak people out.

Todays Wonder Why...

Where do we get off thinking someone else's ideas are nuts but our own are perfectly valid?

I think it all has to do with personal faith and the need to be birds of a feather.

Whether someone is in need of assurance, sympathy, or just in a misery-loves-company state of being, there is often acceptance and relief to be found through things like conspiracy theory and uniting for a common cause, and of course religion and spirituality.

Astrology can do a lot for people because it's so easy to hear that it'll all be better tomorrow, and maybe that belief is what bouys them to truly *have* that better tomorrow. Read the rest of the horoscopes and you'll find they all pretty much pertain to you too, but if you need your spirits bolstered and that's going to do it for you, who am I to judge?

Religion, well... religion is so subjective as to be nearly impossible to fathom, but I think it all boils down to the same thing, namely needing to feel like we're not just floundering out here in the black. If your religious beliefs involve all-knowing deities and mine are more along the lines of Flying Spaghetti Monsters, so be it!

Lots of people just want *something* believe in or belong to, though, and unfortunately sometimes that means doom-and-gloom theories like the 2012 foolishness get a foothold, and paranoid theories on how everyone's out to get us run rampant. But, as long as they don't try to foist it on others, whatever people choose to put their faith in is their own choice. I just have a hard time understanding people who actively choose to be so negative.

It doesn't make them bad people, of course... I'm paraphrasing poorly (as usual) but someone very smart said "Sometimes they're just good people with bad information".

Too true.

The one exception to that? People who just refuse to open their eyes and see reason, like Birthers, who refuse to believe President Obama is an American citizen, despite completely valid and proven evidence to the contrary. Yeah, and the Earth is flat, too, kids.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: Wherein I Ramble Wildly

Do you ever think you might be psychic?

I know they say everyone's got a touch of it here and there (knowing when the phone's going to ring, having some old song stuck in your head all day only to turn the radio on and it's playing, calling a friend because you suddenly need to only to find they're upset about something), but do you ever find yourself having a "whoa" moment?

This morning, on the bus reading The Third Angel (and trying not to get carsick), I wound my way through a tale of a wedding, a death and a flashback to a rock star in London who (if I'm predicting correctly) is probably not long for the Earth in this tale. I gave up (nauseated at last, plus my stop was coming up) and popped in my headphones... and Cemeteries of London came on the shuffle. Weird.

After Cemeteries of London... Paint a Vulgar Picture (about a dead rock star).

Maybe my iPod is psychic.

Did the story draw those songs? Or is it all a free-association crap shoot, like finding truth in Nostradamus after the fact? (Speaking of crap shoots, it never fails to amuse me that at the front of the bus, along with all the littering, loud music and anti-food signs there is one that reads "No Gambling". I'd love to know the story behind the reason for that one.)

It's cool and overcast here today, very funereal and quiet and subdued and fall-like. This sort of weather always seems to find me staring at the sky a lot (probably looking like a looney, but whatevs), feeling like I did when I was 17 and goth-tastic.

Well... to be clear, I was less goth than I was pre-Emo, but we didn't have another term for it then besides beatnik, and I wasn't much for jazz.

Anyway, naturally, any song I hear that isn't overly pop-y is going to fit the bill today, whether I'm reading something slightly mystical (all of Alice Hoffman's books are), zoning out remembering the end of Pratt Pier in Chicago on overcast fall days where I'd pretend I was out to sea, or just enjoying the swirling grey sky and wishing I was in a little cottage somewhere cool, with a fire and cats and books and good company and bacon and coffee.

What do you mean by "overly specific" exactly?

What do *you* wish for on gloomy days?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Calm and Collected

I had a really lovely weekend, I have to say; I hope you had the same!

Friday night, The Child had a sleepover for which she was picked up prior to my getting home. Before her buddy came to get her, however, she found her old chalk bucket and proceeded to leave me love notes on the driveway.

Click to enlarge!

I sure do love that kid.

I relaxed at home with a bottle of what I thought was regular wine but which turned out to be *sparkling* wine (my favorite), which turned out to be compulsively drinkable, which turned out to be gone fairly quickly. I'm not really much of a drinker, truly, but once in awhile I just get a taste for something relaxing, and this stuff... so yummy.

For some reason, Robocop was playing on IFC... was this an independent film and I just didn't realize it? It's not one that I expected to see on that channel in particular, but I had fun picking out all the actors I didn't know of then that I associate with completely different things now, like Forman's Dad. I always knew he was a hardass, but wow!

I had a nice slow Saturday morning alternately reading and getting the house cleaned in anticipation of allergies, which mostly worked (someday I will have hardwood floors) though not entirely since Dea really enjoys spreading her hair around as much as possible. It's an artform.

Saturday night was delightful - dinner with The Child and TR, at which she got to play junior food critic to her extreme delight (I really need to stop letting her watch so much Food Network).

I got to gift a little tiny painting I did a week or so back, which was nerve-wracking in the weirdest way! I've never made something quite that person-specific before, so I wasn't sure it wouldn't be a flop, or cause massive eye-rolling, but it was well-received so PHEW. I knew it would get a happy home either way, Kid was trying to snitch it for herself before it was even dry... but she's biased.

TR brought goodies from his recent trip to Florida; I love when people think to bring souvenirs back with them, it's such a nice way to share the experience a little bit. I got a 3-D gator swamp magnet, which is fantastic, and two additions to my state collection started by Nova with a trip to Washington a few years ago. Someday I'll have all 50, I swear it... I just wish they were more proportional; the California one is the same size as Arizona, which doesn't work at all.

Picky, picky, picky.

He also brought Nightmare Before Christmas pins (apparently these are extremely collectible, who knew?) obtained at Disney World, which were immediately claimed by The Child as her very own... I had no chance at these, and knew it as soon as I saw them sitting on the seat of his bitchin' van. She has quite a thing for Tim Burton in general, but that movie is her very favorite and has been since she was about 2.

I raised her right.

Sunday I got to do my first recording for AIN which went fairly well although I was fighting with a sinus headache so I wasn't at my best... butchered a word or two, but it was well-hidden. I learned lots of stuff about the state of the town of Telluride, and about "Captain" Jack Carey, a really cool guy who died too young.

Once that was done (it was pretty simple - in and out in an hour and 15) we headed to Barnes & Noble so she could at last use her birthday gift card from Kevin. As luck would have it, they were in the midst of moving across the street, so their usual sale stuff was an additional 50% off... she cleaned up!

All in all a very relaxing and joyful weekend; I'm grateful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

F-Word Friday: Fortune's Favor

I love to read.

In particular, I love to read aloud to others, or even just to myself (which makes me sound insane when I do this and don't realize someone is in earshot), so you can imagine my delight at having found an outlet for this hobby that could also do the world some good!

Having found this outlet, I also was reminded how fortunate I am that I have my sight, although I was not particularly observant when entering their offices... it took me a few seconds to figure out why I was being ignored by everyone in the room. Trust me, I mocked myself enough for everyone later, what a dope!

(Internal Editor - And so a new theme was born. F-Word Friday! Excuse me while I rename a couple of old posts.)

I went to AIN yesterday to "audition" for the position - understandable, since nobody wants to hear Gilbert Gottfried reading the daily paper. They had me sit down and read & record two articles, the second of which was bizarre to hear played back. It was all about the preservation of various native languages in the Pacific Northwest, complete with the names of same like Tsimshian, Tlingit, Kiksht, Skagit & Ichishkiin, and it was weird enough hearing my recorded voice (is that really how I sound?!) but moreover highly amusing to hear myself butchering the names of these native tongues. It sounded like I was trying to recite the alphabet around a mouthful of Fluff.

Considering it was a cold read, the director said I did pretty well, and having successfully pronounced most of the items on the list of hard words (I only killed 2, one I knew I was doing and one I thought was misspelled), and having *not* sneezed on or coughed into the microphone, for the next 3 Sundays (then I'll be assigned something else) I'll be reading the Telluride News, which will be broadcast on their private network on Wednesday mornings. I get to pick and choose what I read from the paper, and introduce the stories in a smooth sort of way, so basically I can pretend I'm hosting my very own All Things Considered episode! Fun and functional, just how I like life to be.

I don't know if anyone will actually hear it, but it'll be fun to do and I'm glad it'll be there if someone wants it.

Have a wonderful weekend... get out there and see something beautiful, and be thankful for your sight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Abracadabra, You're Full of Plot Holes!

So we went and saw Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince last night and...

Hm. Well.

I love these books, like *love* them, would marry them and have their babies if given half a chance. So I don't take kindly to tinkerin'. However, I also understand that trying to cram 600 pages of involved plot into 2 1/2 hours of palatable-to-the-masses cinema is next to impossible.

So I forgive them (mostly) since I'll always have the books - it's not like I don't know what happened in all the holes they left (and there were some staggering ones, if I hadn't read the book I would be really confused about now) - I just wanted to *see* it, ya know? There were so many awesome characters in this book, and they were just left aside; even some of the canon characters barely got more than 5 seconds of screen time, and no lines at that.

(This, it should be noted, is the argument in its entirety against doing a movie version of The Dark Tower... there's just too much.)

Books-vs-movies aside, I thought it was gorgeously shot and orchestrated, what story they *did* include was well acted, there was lots of humor (excuse me, HUMOUR), and of course tons of screen time for my very favorite HP character.

I just love Ron, he's such a doof.

Anyway, we were also thrilled to see some great trailers, which truly is one of my favorite parts of going to the movies in the first place! Now if they could just stop with the commercials...

New Moon made all the girls squeal (The Child shushed me when I laughed), but I think the wolf transition looks lame (upon proclaiming this, I was again shushed, this time for my insolence).

Sherlock Holmes made *me* squeal. If I love anything better than Ron Weasley, it's Robert Downey Jr.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday: Social Niceties

You know, I'm a pretty tolerant girl. Most things don't bother me, I'm not easily embarrassed, and it takes a significant act of aggression to piss me off.

Smelly is one thing, though, that I just can't handle.

There are variations on this of course, as in all things. A little sweat is fine, and on the right person it's even kinda sexy, but then there's ripe B.O. (which still sounds like a foghorn when I say it in my head - you children of the 70's and 80's can hear it too no doubt) that's bad enough to make your eyes water. There's someone's gross lunch stink, which can't be helped sometimes, and then there's dragon breath that will singe your nose hairs.

I was sitting behind a woman on the bus this morning who had chosen to marinate in her favorite perfume. With a good perfume, this might just result in a slightly cloying scent bubble, but in this case I was having to breathe through my mouth (which was no help - now I can taste it too). It was something akin to baby powder infused Jasmine soup.

Now it was probably just me gagging on this, since I hate the scent of both baby powder and Jasmine, and actually have an allergy to Jasmine (it does weird and unpleasant things to my tongue), but it got me thinking about how people just don't consider the world around them sometimes, myself included... I'm sure that leather jacket I had in high school, the one that had a glass bottle of patchouli spill in the pocket, offended more than one olfactory nerve in its time.

Today's Wonder stems from being nasally assaulted in public this morning...

Why can't some folks see beyond their own spaces?

I'm sure it's as simple as being used to their own stuff; I mean I'm guessing the woman this morning has been wearing the same perfume for ages, and doesn't even smell it anymore. I'm certain the kid with the blaring headphones is so deaf by now he can barely hear the thumpa-thumpa of his music as it is. I guarantee you the guy with the fish breath sitting behind me the whole way, coughing merrily I might add, just hadn't thought of checking his breath post-lunch due to his allergy-medication-induced grogginess. There's usually a reason for everything.

Of course we being the polite folks we are generally don't *tell* the offenders they're offensive, because it's not socially acceptable behavior. Then again, neither is wearing so much perfume that it makes others want to barf like a chicken. (Thanks, Uncle Stevie.)

For me, at least, having my senses subjected to things like that makes me *more* aware that I shouldn't soak in my favorite perfume (only partially motivated by its hefty price-tag) or crank up Elvis Costello on my headphones no matter how much I love that song, and that I should have a mint after that onion soup at lunchtime.

Thankfully most people are fairly observant, or public transportation would really suffer.

Outside of the world of the RTD, however, you often will find people just don't realize how much they're really affecting the world around them with their lack of attention to the social niceties. The yeller at work, for example, who you'd swear was half-deaf due to the excessive volume of her speaking voice. The orally-fixated gum-snapper in the next office over. The person in the grocery store who must walk down the middle of the aisle and leave their cart there while they peruse the contents of the shelves, leaving you to move their cart for them (and how often do you get a dirty look for doing so?). The incubator who insists on coming in to work even though they've seemingly got a wad of Kleenex permanently affixed to their nose.

You just want to chuck stuff at them, don't you? You don't of course, because while being gross and rude *should* be illegal, it isn't, and physically harming someone for sneezing without covering their mouth *is*.

It's a cruel world.

Just because I love it so, here's that Elvis Costello song I'd be subjecting my fellow passengers to if I thought they'd appreciate it.

Totally Random Tuesday: The Unfortunate Mix Tape

Now be honest. You know you at least had a play list going for a mix tape for someone you had a crush on once upon a time... those songs on the radio that seemed to be written JUST FOR YOU OMG, that you know if you got your TTL listening to as well they'd just GET IT and totally love you back?

If you were truly obsessed, you put them together on a tape.

This was a subtle art, ironic since you weren't being subtle AT ALL. You had to carefully orchestrate the flow so that the really sappy ones weren't all clustered like a drooling puppy at one end or the other of side 2.

Or maybe you set it up just exactly like that, knowing that at least you had a margin of a chance that your intended would tire of the references to forever and love and quit listening before even getting to the big pile of obvious you left in the corner.

If you were *truly* dedicated to the project, maybe you even highlighted the parts that were REALLY significant on the lyrics sheet you so carefully printed out in tiny lettering since it had to fit in the tape case, compulsively stopping and starting and rewinding and starting again to make sure your lyric interpretations were spot on because it was 1989 and there was no internet and all you had to work with was the hot pink tape player you got for Christmas that year.

Then came the truly hard part... presenting THE TAPE.

Did you hand it over, all casual-like and sort of a "Yeah you might like these, I was bored last night", working the nonchalance of the unaffected? But then what if they thought you didn't mean any of the things you were trying to impart!?

You could slip it into their coat pocket in a coy manner, batting your eyelashes and saying "I hope you think of me later, give a listen!"... but you were not Miki Berenyi (all the boys loved her in 1990) and would probably just drool on yourself or trip on the sidewalk or something equally embarrassing.

Nope... You left it anonymously, hoping your intended would recognize your handwriting and know it was you, or like me, alternately praying he *wouldn't* know and just be happy to know someone totally loved him.

Obsessive? What exactly do you mean by that?

You know, I would give a pinky finger to have a look at that tape I left for that one guy I totally obsessed over, but maybe not because the stink of desperation (and patchouli) might just transport me back like in Somewhere In Time, and I would not want to have to be 15 again. Like, ever.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Movin' and Shakin'

Quite the chock-full weekend, I have to say, despite accomplishing very little in the grand scheme of things.

Friday The Child and I had to get to bed super early to accommodate getting up at the crack of dawn for our adventure in volunteeritis. Well, to be honest, I'm the one with the problem... The Child is just too nice to say anything.

She's also super cute.

As it happens, getting up that early wasn't a big deal at all, and ended up being the better end of the day. We both truly do love volunteering at ROTR, but I think I've *finally* learned... morning shifts only. Sure we had to be there at 6AM, but it was quiet, it was cool, we folded shirts and ate breakfast and helped get things set up. Just our thing.

As we were at Guest Services for the morning, we had an awesome view of the Front Range and the moon setting.

Click the photo to see it better... it was so beautiful!

Unexpectedly, we were also treated to this:

Seriously huge up close.

As I understand it, when it's time it's time for the balloon to come down, IT'S TIME FOR THE BALLOON TO COME DOWN so get ready. The staff at the event was so not ready. There was a great deal of running around and walkie-talkie-ing, but the bystanders (us included) all loved it! I've always wanted to go for a hot-air balloon ride, but those are some pricey tickets! Just something to throw on the "when I win the lottery" list. Until then, I'll admire from afar.

We ended up not making it to our second shift, the 2PM-5PM art tent, because we were both sweaty, tired messes by noon. We knew they would be alright without us though, since the art tables are largely child-driven and we volunteers are really just there to re-stock (we've done that tent for 2 years, we know).

In between our first shift and punking out on our second, however, we got to see some really neat stuff!

Aztec dancers... I joined in for the Friendship Dance much to The Child's embarrassment. (Of *course* I was invited first, what do you take me for?!) Their costumes were so beautiful, but it was already roasting at 10AM, you know these poor folks were HOT.

Polynesian dancing! They did the usual hula-type stuff, but they also did some dances from other islands like New Zealand and Samoa. Truly lovely stuff and the lead girl had braces and knew all the words to the songs and couldn't stop grinning and was generally adorable beyond measure.

And then there was this:


So after we were done being sweathogs and made it home for air conditioning and showers, we went to help Colorado Alternadad with his packing... he and his girl just bought a new house (after finally selling the current one) and are moving THIS WEEK which is traumatic as everyone knows.

CA is totally OCD in all the best ways, though, so everything is packed in boxes and often in *original* boxes and all the delicate stuff is currently in my office - movers are great and all, but we don't trust them with large expensive audio-visual equipment if we can help it. Seriously it is some of the most organized chaos I've seen in a long time.

We went to dinner Saturday night, which was great but I came out to rain and a flat (which, as it turns out, was due to the 5 INCH NAIL that I most likely ran over in the Boulder County Fairgrounds parking lot). Thank goodness CA was there because I have no idea where the jack goes, although I *can* change a flat.

I can so!

Anyway thank goodness for Firestone... they were able to fix my flat, although they did feel the need to inform me that the cheap-ass tires Nissan provided as the standard are nearly illegal, they're so close to bald.


Oh well, that's why I have a Firestone card, right? *sigh* I'm waiting until September to get them swapped out, I they're not totally dead yet and it's the dry season here, but I think I'll be avoiding unpaved roads to mystery mountaintop locales until I *do* get new tires, just to be on the safe side.

Sunday was more packing and a bit of napping (Saturday's heat really took it out of me) and some reading. I've been trying to make use of the local library as much as we can rather than buying books which will only molder on my shelf. The double-plus bonus of this is that I have incentive to actually READ the books since they're on a deadline.

Currently, I'm getting into Joe Hill's "20th Century Ghosts", which is not all about ghosts but which *is* blowing my mind all to pieces. His first novel gave me real and true shivers, which is hard to do in print! He definitely has his dad's genes when it comes to talent, although they are vastly different in their writing styles, which is good otherwise he'd be pigeonholed as Stephen King, Jr. and stop writing altogether out of frustration.

And we'd suffer that loss, I think.

Friday, July 10, 2009

F-Word Friday: Flabbergasting!

Since I'm finding Family Friday harder to keep up with (how many stories can I tell you about The Luxembourg Queen, anyway?), I've decided that instead I'll just make Friday a more random bit of bloggery.

Bloggery? Oh, Mimi, really.

You'll have to forgive me today, I'm a bit under the weather (stupid cottonwood trees with all their flying fluff!) and I was actually off sick yesterday with a sinus headache. I feel marginally better today, but still kinda blah-ed out.

Being home gave me the opportunity to finish a couple of projects, so it wasn't a wasted day...

Behold, home-made knickers; they didn't *quite* come out as I'd hoped, more tweaking is necessary, but they are definitely cute... I mean just look at that lace!

That would be my prized My Cat Hates You t-shirt, now emblazoned on my heinie forever!

Being off sick means that yesterday's Thrilling Thursday got lost in the shuffle, so to kick off my new random Friday theme, I bring you...


You may have noticed that when you use Google, they often have an interesting bit about something significant that occurred on the day in question, an event in progress, etc. Clicking on the Google logo for that day will bring you to several links on the subject, and can often be quite interesting time-wasters, although sometimes I think they're just phoning it in.

Like I am today! Stupid sinuses.

Today's linkage had to do with Nikola Tesla. I won't fill this with links to his information, but I will tell you that he was Thomas Edison's greatest rival and figured out things like X-rays and television before anyone else did... he just never got the credit. It must have been incredibly frustrating to be him, like constantly seeing infomercials for stuff you've been doing at home for years, but just never managed to get off the ground.

Like the Snuggie.

It kind of explains why he invented this:

I'm thinking his plan was to scare the shit out of everybody, in the hopes they'd quit stealing his ideas.

Equally Flabbergasting!

This Saturday, The Child and I will be doing our yearly volunteering for Rhythm on the River, a fun festival in Longmont with live music and such. We've been volunteering for 3 years now to support them, because it's not just a festival, it's an Eco-Cycle award-winning zero-waste event! Last year, after having several food vendors, swag-distributing advertisers, 300 runners and better than 150,000 people come and go, they ended up with only 7 or 8 small bags of garbage. Everything else was either recycled or composted.

If that isn't flabbergasting, I don't know what is!

It'll be a long day (our first shift is 6-9 AM - yeesh), but we always feel really good having given a little time.

We also really appreciate our a/c when we get home!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - Sing Out Sistah!

I'm not even going to beat around the bush on this one, you'll see why in a minute.

Why can't we just say what we want to people?

We spend so much time trying to carefully wend our way towards saying things toward each other, so cautious of showing our true selves. But why? What are we so afraid of?

See how I just jumped right in? I didn't pitch woo, I didn't pull you into my blog with a story about how I got busted rocking out to the Dead Kennedys in my office yesterday only to smack you in the face with my half-ass thoughts on life... I just went for it! I said it plain!

Wouldn't it be easier if we all did this? Easier said than done, I know... it's a complex issue and I can think of several reasons why, but I think the scariest one has to be the fear of rejection.

If a teen girl says to the clique she runs with "Hey you know what, I don't really like wearing purple on Thursdays", will those girls say "Hey great idea! Let's all wear what we like instead! It'll be Free Thinking Thursday! Let's invite those other girls to join us, what say"?

Probably not, but we'll never know because Teen Girl would *never* risk rejection from her carefully tended group of friends. She can only work with her fear that they'd say "Wear purple or regret it for 3 years solid".

Similarly, if we walked right up to the object of our affection and said "Hey, I totally dig you", would the receiving party say "Wow, I totally dig you too," or would they say "OMG SPAZ!"? Are we willing to risk it?

And truly, I think that's the crux of the fear of rejection - the fear of risk. Are we willing to risk the comfort of our current situation to get something off our chest?

There are entire movie genres and endless catalogs of songs dedicated to people taking these risks and winning the prize in the end, and regretting it when they don't, but the truth is that it's *so* hard to gauge what the end result will be. So you just have to ask yourself...

Are you feeling lucky, punk?!

I'm kidding.

What you have to decide is if the risk is worth it.

If you risk a budding relationship by laying it bare instead of just trying to be all coy and beat-around-the-bushy about it, is the object of your affection going to reject you? How will you know if you don't say something? The problem is getting the words to come out of your mouth.

But if you tell someone you've been seeing that you really like them, and they tell you you suck, then that person is an asshole and you should dump him/her immediately. The risk you were afraid of was "will he/she still want me", but what about whether or not *you'll* want *them* if they say something so mean? You're probably better off knowing when it comes to that one.

Similarly, say you have a friend and she asks you how those pants look on her, and you politely (and that is the key) tell your friend she's got to stop wearing stretch pants, there's a reason The Gap stopped making them (with the exception of Blair Catalogs, which all sell Bend Over pants and tshirts with kittens a-frolickin' to the over-70 set), will she say "I hate you, never speak to me again," or will she say "Wow, thanks for telling me since I can't see my own ass in these"?

If your friend tells you to take a hike because you answered her question with honesty, do you really want a friend like that? The risk you feared was losing your friend, but a person like that is no friend to you - you're just a sounding board for their ego.

Decide if it's worth the risk.

I've both held it in and let it out, and although I have crashed and burned spectacularly when putting it out there for all to see, I've also been rewarded even more not only by having my thoughts supported or my feelings reciprocated, but by the weight that seems to lift from my chest.

I've only ever truly regretted the missed opportunity of *not* telling someone what I really felt about them, good or bad; not only did I miss out on what were probably some great experiences, there are also those toxic relationships I could have lost sooner but didn't for fear of rocking the boat.

So just say it! Get it out there! If you crash, you crash, but it's worth the risk...

Isn't it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: Damn The Man, Save The Empire!

Writing a daily blog is a funny thing.

Not only do I feel like a real neomaxizoomdweebie whenever I say "oh, I'll have to blog about this!" out loud, I also occassionally run out of ideas.

I know, shocking right?!

So I was sitting there last night, watching Empire Records for the umpteenth time and thinking "I'll have to blog about this" with no shame whatsoever, but trying to figure out where exactly I would put it in without having it seem too random, and then it came to me... NEW THEME!

From here on in, Tuesdays will be Totally Random Tuesdays, a place for me to recommend a book, tell you about a fantastic movie, maybe tell you about a dream I once had or share a story from high school (there are so many).

Feel free to join in on Totally Random Tuesday as well! Take the opportunity to do something different with your day. Stop into that restaurant you've been meaning to try, call someone you haven't spoken to in awhile just to say hi, learn a new craft, or hey just tell me about one of *your* favorite things!

Leave a comment and tell me what you did with your Totally Random Tuesday!

And so, to break the virtual champagne bottle on the side of this new idea, I present...


I'm not sure if this movie got a lot of press or in-theatre business when it came out (it was October 1995 and I was busy being pregnant), but when I finally saw it I fell deeply in love immediately.

Despite it being a solidly grunge-era setting, this movie really holds up, sort of like The Breakfast Club did.

Everyone's been friends with these folks... the lovable if exasperating ne'er-do-well, the frustrated parental figure, the uptight goody-two-shoes dying to bust out with a good scream, the sweet stoner, the artist in love, the rebel who hides their inner terror of everything by shocking you into not seeing it... you know these people. You probably are one or more of these people... we're all a little multi-natured.

Then there are the situations we've all been in and probably still deal with despite our rapidly advancing ages - unrequited love, money trouble, rotten kids who won't listen, being under the thumb of corporations and situations we can't control, friends whose troubles we can't fix no matter how hard we try...

Add to that the fact that it is infinitely quote-able, has an ass-kicking soundtrack, Renee Zellweger pre-post-Bridget-Jones-face-pinching-thinification, Liv Tyler before anyone knew her as more than Steven Tyler's kid, and someone getting eaten on stage by GWAR, and you have near-perfection in cinematic form.


Go check it out, and tell me what you think!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Catchup: Bricka-Bracka-Firecracka

I just love a long weekend... they're so luxurious!

We had a fairly relaxing weekend considering the amount of things we accomplished...

Friday was an extremely lazy morning spent watching the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi (the "New" Twilight Zone's theme song still has the power to creep me out, by the way - I don't think anyone born in the 90's can really understand the terror of a mushroom cloud).

In the afternoon we went to what was our favorite nail salon for a little beautification. I say "was" because we will officially not be going there again... the owners 12-year-old was given the task of filing and prepping my nails, and I wasn't quite sure what to think at first, but I finally decided that for the price, I expect a professional. I politely asked (I may seethe on the inside, but I'm almost always polite) that one of the employees take over, and my request was granted, but it still stuck in my craw.

Add to that the rapidly declining number of employees they seem to have and I think they're on their way out. It's too bad, it really was a nice place... but now I'll be headed to Q Nails across the street... sorry, ladies.

Anyway, after my crappy manicure, I headed to the grocery store for supplies for our Thanksgiving In July with Melissa & friends... she had a turkey to cook so we figured it was as good a time as any for stuffing and mashed potatoes!

Saturday we headed with Melissa up to Wyoming to purchase fireworks, since surface-to-air missiles are illegal in Colorado for some reason. I'm not sure why anyone needs that much firepower, but at the very least we knew they'd have a better ground-level selection, and they so did!

Best name ever

You just know these warnings are necessary for some people

I wasn't able to get a photo, but we passed three semis hauling the turbines for those mammoth windmills - they seem even bigger when they're in pieces like that, like some sort of giant Erector Set.

Saturday evening was lots of fun despite the Rockies loss to the Diamondbacks; it was a big-scoring game which is always fun, and The Child hadn't been to a big-league game in ages, so I got to re-introduce her older self to the fun of a live ballgame, complete with the decadence of having cotton candy come to YOU. It was also perfect weather since we had been under a huge storm not 2 hours before... the seats were still wet!

After the game and a little waiting while the blast-zone was cleared, they put on a spectacular fireworks display, the end of which was loud enough to leave my ears ringing for hours afterward... but you know how I feel about fireworks. Go big or go home!

Naturally we didn't make it home until about 1:30 or so (the Wyoming fireworks didn't happen, but they'll wait!), and that is way late for yours truly. I ended up sleeping on and off until easily 12:30 in the afternoon, and spent the afternoon working on that blanket I mentioned, and another which is working up much more quickly.

All in all, it was a very full, very fun weekend... I think we might try for a Rockies game every year in some capacity or another, but I guarantee we won't have seats like we did this year ever again!

This is without the zoom! We had to duck foul balls! AWESOME.

A beautiful sunset - the product of all that rain

The Rock Pile, where we'll be next year no doubt - but we get to sit on the field for fireworks so there's the payoff!

Hope your 4th was fun! Tomorrow... a new theme!

Try to contain your excitement.

Friday, July 3, 2009

F-Word Friday: Firecracker!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Family Friday to bring you...


Did YOU know there's a Montreal International Fireworks Competition? I did not. Now I do, and it may be a life-goal to go and see a little of it. (The above video is of the winning display in 2008.)

Thank you, internet!

I love fireworks...they're so decadently noisy. With the exception of concerts and headphones, we're always being asked to keep it to a dull roar, turn that thing down, put a lid on it... but fireworks? Better bring your earplugs, that's just how it is.

I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend... I will be at a Rockies night game, 14th row behind the dugout, rooting on my adopted home team (the Cubs will always have my heart, but a girl's got to get her baseball fix somehow!), drinking margaritas and crocheting that blanket for Craft Hope, all followed up by fireworks from the field! Hopefully the margaritas won't impact my pattern... we'll see.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Artsy Fartsy

There's a building by my house, a long, low, squat structure with a parking lot adjacent to it, and it's been vacant for years. A couple of years ago, the property owner ok'd his nephew using the blank spaces to do graffiti art.

There was some controversy surrounding it (you can see an article here where the artist discusses his motivations and views on the transitory nature of his art), because the word "graffiti" immediately brings to mind gang symbols, quick tagging and urban decay for many people, but in fact anyone who's lived in a large city knows that very often you'll find true art among the scribbles.

Luckily for us, we have one of those incredible artists in Longmont, and he shares his art with us constantly. Talk about a thrill... I get to see his work daily.

He's done, among other things, political portraits, one really striking piece depicting a war scene in the Middle East, tributes requested by friends, and fallen legends (Heath Ledger as the Joker had a rather long run).

Photo courtesy of 9 News Colorado, but I had to show you the Marvin Gaye portrait!

Just recently he did a large mural that spanned the whole length of the building which featured some really demented, yet beautiful, underwater creatures.

For more of the underwater mural, see the set on Flickr... I loved this turtle best!

The death of Michael Jackson (had you heard?) really impacted him, and he quickly put up a mural spanning Jackson's life. There are also paper bags decorated with silhouettes of Jackson doing his thing, used as luminaries I'm guessing, lined up along the base of the mural.

Unfortunately, I was running late for work, so my photos are of the through-the-car-window variety, but hopefully you can get the drift of what this amazing artist accomplishes - sometimes overnight. The Michael Jackson piece went up within 24 hours.

You can see more of the mural and closeups of the sections in the set on Flickr, but I think this is my favorite.

I love public art, don't you?

PS... The sweater bag is done!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wonder Why Wednesday - Sticks and Stones

Today's post comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Al Franken has *finally* been awarded his spot.

Love him or hate him, 8 months of debate over a count that showed he won 8 MONTHS AGO is ridiculous. Personally, I think he'll be great. He's got common sense by the square acre, and that goes a long way.

During all the time they were debating the issue, there was apparently a campaign against "Al Frankenstein".

Today's Wonder... Why all the name-calling?

Name-calling in general seems to be an easy thing to do, and I wonder if it isn't a pack mentality, a way to compartmentalize people into societal slots. High School is the worst for this, of course - nerds, jocks, stoners... everyone has their place, and if they don't, a place will be assigned to them by whoever is higher up in the pecking order. More often than not, everyone below will go with it, even the victim of the categorization.

Worse than the high-school name-callers are the people that don't ever seem to get past their school-age need to put people in what they feel is their place, and progress to belittling others. One can only guess that this is done out of a lack of self-assurance about the their *own* place in the world.

Meaner still are those who use those words as weapons. They use names like bitch and slut and racial slurs I won't sully my blog with, and they do it on purpose, to hurt and bring low people they feel aren't worth respect.

Jerks, in other words.

But there I go name-calling and compartmentalizing! Does that make it wrong? Obviously it's not good when people use name-calling as a means to hurt, but it's a pretty large leap from good-natured teasing to disparaging commentary.

I've called *myself* a nerd/dork/geek on this very blog at least 2 million times. Was I belittling myself? Of course not, and I've often called others by those same names without even thinking about it. More often than not, it's a pet-name sort of name-calling, and only done in a familiar way. I'd never call a complete stranger who tripped a klutz... but if The Child did it, I'd rag her a little. She'd do the same to me, and I'd laugh along with her.

Personally, I do try to use "names" only in fun, and when the fun is *shared* - but I don't always succeed. It's definitely something to think about, and the old adages hold true...

Think before you speak, and if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I would like to point out that in looking for pictures for today's foray into my ever-wandering mind, I came across some serious gems. Thank you, Google Images!

Mexican Rockabilly Metal. YES PLEASE.

Dracula Vs Frankenstein, circa 1971.
I make that face all the time, usually right when someone is photographing me.

This site has blow-by-blow accounts of some of the worst horror movies of all time.
They watch them so you don't have to... although personally had I been alive when Ed Wood was making pictures, I would have been his biggest fan!